By Akeem Greene
The Guyana Amazon Warriors ended their home matches with a dominant seven-wicket victory over a miss-firing St Lucia Stars in Match 21 of the 2017 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) on Tuesday evening at the National Stadium, Providence, East Bank Demerara.
Warriors late run at the play-offs continued to be well intact as they made light work in pursuit of 101, reaching it in 14.4 overs. For the Stars, their lights continued to get darker as they sank to their seventh loss in eight matches.
The thumping win in front of another supportive and vociferous crowd was orchestrated by tightly knit bowling led by leg-spinner Rashid Khan and then assured knocks by Man-of-the match Sohail Tanveer and Jason Mohammed.
Needing a performance quite the opposite of what they did with the bat, the Stars turned to Jerome Taylor who had the in-form Chadwick Walton out LBW with the first ball.
Tanveer, who has a new lease on life with his new role at the top of the order picked up from where he left off Sunday, having a streaky four off the bowling of Shane Shillingford, then slicing Taylor over extra-cover for another boundary.
Captain Martin Guptill produced his trademark thwack over long-off with a slight shimmy down the pitch against the pacy Taylor. However, his treacherous run of form continued when he gave a charge to Rahkeem Cornwall and was undone with a clever piece of bowling.
Despite the two quick wickets, the shots were still being rolled out as the Warriors knew the importance of not just wining, but doing so quickly.
Jason Mohammed wasted little time to get into stride as he lofted Cornwall over extra-cover for a majestic six. He continued to be fluent and pulled Mitchell McClenaghan for four through mid-wicket. The Warriors were 41 for 2 after six overs.
Tanveer again had the ball greeting the ropes by top-edging McClenaghan for another four. Mohammed seemed to be taking a liking to Cornwall when he played the most delicate of cuts through third-man and the frequent boundaries kept coming.
The first ball after the mid-innings break, Tanveer came down the track to Shillingford and was stumped, bringing an end to the 51-run third wicket partnership. Tanveer struck 5 fours and one six and the home-side were 73-3 in the 11th over.
Mohammed’s onslaught continued, racing the Warriors to their target, hitting 3 fours and 2 sixes, which meant there was little work for Gajanand Singh to do, as Mohammed tapped the final ball to mid-wicket to spark the widespread celebrations at Providence.
Sticking to the formula from Sunday night against the Barbados Tridents, Warriors inserted Stars and got two early breakthroughs. Rashid Khan took a juggling catch at long-off to dismiss Andre Fletcher in the second over.
Next over, a combination of athletic fielding and ball awareness orchestrated an excellent run-out. Shane Watson slashing to point, Khan produced a diving stop, after which Keemo Paul executed a direct hit to the non-strikers stump which saw the demise of Watson who was guilty of ball-watching.
Jesse Ryder, who struggled to find timing early in his innings, crunched a short one from the leg-spin of Khan through cover which saw the Stars reaching 26 for 2 at the end of the power play overs.
The Stars continued to look dim as power-hitter Johnson Charles lacked intensity in his 22-ball 15. He paid for his lacklustre approach when he held out to long-on, sinking his team further into trouble at 35 for 3 in the eight over.
Ryder looked the Stars most assured batsman at the crease. He played flamboyant shots through the cover region but saw his innings come to an end via another brilliant piece of fielding by Paul at deep mid-wicket. Ryder for an inexplicable reason wanted a second with his taped knee.
The lights got a shade darker for the Stars when Khan trapped Darren Sammy in front of wicket and then Cornwall’s wild slog was taken via diving catch at long-off.
The abysmal performance with the bat continued as Shillingford diced one of Rayad Emrit’s cutter to cover.
A six off the last ball of the innings rounded off a huff and puff innings by the Stars which had no momentum or direction due to an absence of partnerships.
The St Lucia Stars will suit up again on Friday when they come up against the Jamaica Tallawahs, while the Warriors’ next match will be on August 29 against Tridents in Bridgetown, Barbados.